YouTube Undergoes Radical Redesign

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YouTube has undergone the biggest transformation in its history with an emphasis on social features

Video sharing site YouTube has undergone the most radical redesign in its six year history.

YouTube, owned by Google, has said that it has introduced a new homepage, channel design and “fresh coat of digital paint.”

Gateway To An Entertainment Universe

YouTube claims that the new homepage is “a gateway to a vast entertainment universe” and there is particular emphasis on social features and channel discovery. On the left column, it is possible to create your own personal YouTube channel line up, with recommendations and genres listed below. Individual recommended videos are displayed in the far right column

The feed in the centre displays the newest videos from user subscriptions as well as videos that they have favourited. There is also the possibility to link an account to Facebook or Google+ and the feed is more similar to Facebook’s newsfeed than the previous YouTube homepage.

Channels have also been updated, with new templates offering different solutions for different types of channels. For example, one template would be more suited to a channel that produces just one video a week and another for a channel which uploads thousands of videos.

YouTube has also applied what it describes as a cleaner and simpler new look, including a consistent grey background, bigger video thumbnails and a more streamlined watch page.

Social Viewing

The emphasis on social features is unsurprising given the attention that Google has paid to its social offering in recent months. Google has launched its Google+ social network and rolled out its version of the Facebook Like button, the +1 button, onto a number of sites, including YouTube.

It hopes that this will encourage visitors to spend more time on its portfolio of websites and services, in an effort to fend off competition from Facebook whose users spend more time online and therefore attract more revenue for advertisers.

YouTube forms a key part of this strategy as earlier this year, on its sixth birthday, it was revealed that 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute and that three billion videos are viewed every day, an increase from two million on its fifth birthday in 2010.

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